Another nutty rant by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan got the week off to a good start. His ire was aimed as usual at the USA, this time he threatened that Ankara would abandon the US dollar in transactions with Russia and other nations, accusing the US of behaving like “wild wolves.”
“America behaves like wild wolves. Don’t believe them,” Erdogan told a business forum during the Turkey-Kyrgyzstan Business Forum in Kyrgyzstan, according to AFP.
Erdogan’s latest outburst is a further sign that he is taking Turkey away from the west and strengthening ties with Russia, China and Iran. It echoed the dedollarization call from Russia’s deputy foreign minister Serkey Ryabkov, saying said that Turkey country was in negotiations with Russia over non-dollar trade. As we have reported elsewhere China has made the most significant move in this currency war by opening a maket for traded oil futures on the Shanghair stock exchange, thus challenging the supremacy of the US dollar in the world’s most traded commodity.
“Using the dollar only damages us. We will not give up. We will be victorious,” Erdogan said, addressing a meeting attended by Kyrgyz and Turkish businessmen as well as government officials.
On August 24, Moscow said it would respond to Washington’s latest sanctions by accelerating efforts to abandon the American currency in trade transactions: “The time has come when we need to go from words to actions, and get rid of the dollar as a means of mutual settlements, and look for other alternatives,” said Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Ryabkov.
Erdogan further stirred the pot by saying that Ankara doesn’t need permission from anyone to purchase Russian S-400 missile systems, just days after the US once again warned the country against buying the highly advanced air-defense system.
“We have made S-400 deal with Russia. Someone is offended by it. We don’t need permission from anybody,” the Turkish leader said in Kyrgyzstan.
Last week US Defense Secretary James Mattis warned Turkey, a member of NATO but not a client state of Washington, against buying the Russian systems. “Turkey had a choice to make, a sovereign decision to make. But clearly Turkey bringing a Russian anti-aircraft, anti-missile system into a NATO country, we cannot integrate that into NATO,” Mattis said. “Yes, it does concern us and we do not recommend that.”
Russian S400 air defence system (picture: RT )
At the same time Erdogan’s government is trying to complete the purchase of American F-35 jets, which US lawmakers are trying to block due to Ankara’s S-400 deal.
Erdogan’s statement shows that Turkey is shaping its defense policy without any regard to the US, Igor Korotchenko, editor-in-chief of National Defense magazine, told RT. For Turkey, the purchase of these weapons means getting “a new geopolitical status of a country” that is able to fully control its airspace and, if necessary, use such weapons against its enemies, he said.